Spring has sprung. April is almost on us, Baseball is back in season, and we have a few things for you to peruse going into your weekend. This week we have a fintech that helps employers add perks to hourly payroll, a tool to help you uncover the profit in your customers, and a detailed look down the dark hole of search engine optimization (SEO).
1. Adding value to payroll as a service
Fortune profiled Jason Lee of Salt Labs, previously founder of payroll advance fintech DailyPay. The new startup aims to enable employers to offer more tangible benefits to hourly employees, which are typically difficult for small businesses to provide.
Hourly employees typically include restaurant, grocery store and construction workers as well as some nurses that earn a set hourly wage. This group does not have access perks typically offered to salaried employees. “For those in the hourly workforce, or frontline workers, those alternatives don’t exist in one easy way. It’s not like you can go to McDonalds and here’s your stock option program,”
The app lets hourly employees earn rewards, or “Salt,” for each hour they work. Lee pointed to airline frequent flier or Starbucks reward programs as comparable platforms. Unlike those programs, Salt rewards don’t expire. Users can also transfer their Salt to friends and family, even if they don’t work at the same company.
Initially, users can redeem their Salt on goods and experiences, such as travel and education, as well as digital assets like NFTs. Lee hopes to add properties and features that will make Salt “more asset-like,” rather than its current “points-like.” Workers in the future can potentially earn more Salt if they demonstrate certain behaviors like taking unpopular shifts or working at their employer for a long period of time.
Sidebar to the story is Lee’s departure from DailyPay coming after a rebuffed acquisition offer from digital bank Chime:
In May 2022, Chime, the financial services app that was valued at $25 billion two years ago, made a $1.6 billion offer to buy DailyPay, and then bumped its offer up to $2 billion, according to a report from The Information, which was confirmed by Fortune. DailyPay’s investors rejected the proposal in the hopes the future would bring a higher bid…. Lee and (cofounder Rob) Law both left DailyPay in mid-2022. In June, Kevin Coop, the former president of North America at Dun & Bradstreet, joined DailyPay as CEO.
2. Lifetime Value and your FI
This week we launched a new tool, the Customer Lifetime Value Calculator for Community Banks and Credit Unions. With it, you can spot opportunities by weighing revenue streams against the costs of acquiring and retaining individual customers.
Download it here:
3. The short head of SEO
Glen Allsopp of Detailed put together a deep analysis of how 16 companies dominate Google search results.
In the Academy Award-nominated Food Inc, filmmaker Robert Kenner reveals how the extensive range of products we see on supermarket shelves is actually controlled by just a handful of companies.
Today I’m going to reveal how the seemingly diverse list of websites in Google search results are often owned by just a few brands, and exactly what you can learn from those brands in question.
I first covered this topic back in 2016…Many of the leading websites in that initial report are still dominant today, but the companies behind them and how they operate have massively evolved
The report digs deep into the industry trends in content and SEO. One persistent theme, that we’ve covered before, is brands buying captive audiences as a way around digital advertising. For example:
Fandom Sold an Online Forum & Game Guide to Hasbro for $146.3M
I’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons but I’ve seen enough hype for the tabletop game over the years that it doesn’t surprise me someone built a hugely successful site to go with it.
In April of 2022, Fandom sold D&DBeyond, a “digital toolset and game companion”, for $146.3M…cash.
The forum section alone has thousands of members online no matter what time of day you check. Those members have started 140,000+ discussions and made over 3 million posts to date. I don’t want to butcher the description of the site as I imagine someone reading this is one of their 10 million registered users, so let me just say it appears the site makes playing D&D a lot more manageable.
It’s a long piece at over 13,0000 words, but worth scanning through to see what digital marketing looks like at the scale of the short head. As Glen ends with:
I’m less concerned about how they might be getting an unfair advantage in Google that I can’t control, and far more interested in what I can learn from what they’re doing in the process.
And that’s it for the end of Q1. Turns out, “like riding a bike” is more complicated than it seems. Thank you so much for reading. Thoughts? Let us know at email@example.com.